For the first time in 42 years the six councillor seats in Trail were won by acclamation.
Story here: Greater Trail political scene gets a new look
While four went to seasoned incumbents Robert Cacchioni, Carol Dobie, Eleanor Gattafoni Robinson and Sandy Santori – the last two chairs will be filled by first-time candidates, both new to civic politics.
Because there was no election platform required, Paul Butler and Colleen Jones never had the chance to introduce themselves to the community at-large.
So who are Paul Butler and Colleen Jones?
The Trail Times asked the newcomers to tell readers about themselves before they are sworn in Monday night, alongside Mayor-elect Lisa Pasin and their four counterparts.
“Better was always here.”
Those four words sum up why Paul Butler chose to take a job with Kootenay Savings, move to Trail, and re-connect to Kootenay life with husband Josh and daughter Estelle (Elle) by his side.
Butler was born in New Westminster but is no stranger to the Kootenays. His local family history dates back generations. In fact, his grandmother Isabel Butler was one of the first female mayors in the West Kootenay when she elected as Mayor of Kaslo in 1978-79. Isabel remains a great inspiration to Butler as he still recalls the great excitement and new direction Kaslo embarked on under her leadership.
Since moving here 18 months ago, Butler has already racked up many volunteer hours with various boards including the Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital Health Foundation, the Trail and District Chamber, and the Lower Columbia Initiatives Corporation, though he recently resigned from the latter.
So stepping up as city councillor was a natural progression of civic duty.
“In any municipality there will always be hot button issues and issues of the day that need to be worked through,” Butler replied, when asked what prompted him to run. “And they always will be worked through eventually. I personally have taken on this role as a way to positively give-back to and serve my community.”
Learning the inner workings of local governance will present a steep learning curve, but with a strong background in finance, Butler is eager to focus on his keen interests, those being economic development and the airport portfolio.
“My formative years have been rooted in banking and finance,” he said. “I know and understand the intrinsic value of relationships and work diligently to be consistent in my approach internally and externally. Through acclamation, Trail has not had the opportunity to get to know me better. That said, I am committed to working hard to show the public who they would have been voting for and earn their support over the next four years.”
Colleen Jones, a mother of four and grandmother of seven, has lived in Trail most of her life. She is the current chairperson of the Trail and District Public Library and an active volunteer for various local causes.
“One of my daughters has owned a small business here in our community for the past 18 years,” Jones began. “Needless to say, I am committed to helping our community thrive.”
She recently retired from a public servant position with the provincial government after 32 years of service.
“During my time with the government, my roles and responsibilities were varied, and among many other experiences included bargaining on behalf of employees, negotiations, labour management and lobbying government at every level there is; municipal, provincial and federal.”
Jones is looking forward to bringing her skills into her new role as Trail councillor.
“This past experience, I believe, will assist me in the role as councillor when I advocate on behalf of the citizens of Trail for much needed government support, funding and resources,” she said. “I am very passionate about this community and I want to make a difference. I want to be a part of making our community a safe and healthy place for everyone.”
The Inaugural Meeting of city council will take place at 6 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 5 in the Riverbelle.
The meeting is ceremonial in nature, there is no official city business on the agenda, and the public is welcome to attend.
Reverend Meridyth Robertson will start the night with an Invocation. Mayor Mike Martin will follow with a speech as he leaves office, and then he will recognize outgoing members of various city committees and boards.
Oaths of Office will be administered, and lastly, Mayor-elect Lisa Pasin will make her inaugural speech.
Elected officials in Fruitvale, Montrose, Warfield and Rossland will be sworn in at the Rossland courthouse on Monday, Nov. 5 at 5 p.m. The public is welcome to attend.